Thursday, February 14, 2008
Protecting the Keys to Your Kingdom
Passwords are the path of least resistance. Almost everything you do online is protected by a password. Your bank accounts. Your credit cards. Your online merchants. Of course, you could use different, very strong passwords (15-20 random characters) on each site, but who has time for that?
Odds are you are like everyone else out there and use the same 2 or 3 passwords for all of your sites and you write them down on a piece of paper that you store in your wallet or at your desk. Don't feel bad, you aren't alone.
But it's still not a good idea. Brian Krebs goes over a few password storage tips and tools in this post. Send him a note and thank him. He's provides some great advice.
I use Mac OS X for 95% of my computing tasks. So I bought the leading password manager for Mac users - 1Password. It works great. I let it generate very strong passwords for my sensitive sites. They are stored in it's secure vault and I let the tool fill in the forms on the web sites. It does cost money, but for me it's worth it.
If you are looking for some free stuff, then Brian's post points to a couple of open source tools. I can't vouch for them because I've never used them. But figuring out a way to increase the strength of your passwords should be a priority.
Photo credit: Secure password of the week by Simon Lieschke